IR residency directors on their own with mentorship

When it comes to recognizing the symbiotic benefits of mentorship for both parties involved, most directors of residency programs in interventional radiology (IR) are all in. And yet few programs have the wherewithal to put their enthusiasm into action.

That’s the finding of researchers who sent surveys to all 78 IR residency program directors (PDs) in the U.S. Close to 30% of the recipients (n=23) completed and returned the form.

Publishing their findings in Current Problems in Diagnostic Radiology, Jason Hoffmann, MD, of NYU Winthrop Hospital, Charles Martin, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic and co-authors report that 13 of the 23 have a formal mentorship program in place.

However, only two of the 13 enjoy direct departmental support for the effort.

Meanwhile half the responding PDs who aren’t yet offering a formal mentorship system, 5 of 10, are working on getting one going. Their stumbling block is much the same—a lack of dedicated time and financial support.

The authors also probed for awareness of the Society of Interventional Radiology’s “Mentor Match” program, whose name gives away its aim. While six of the 23 are registered through it as mentors themselves, eight knew nothing about it until they found out about it through the survey.

Nearly all respondents expressed interest in receiving mentoring resources from SIR. They were most keen on attending a dedicated mentorship educational course at SIR’s SIR annual meeting as well as receiving regular mentoring tips in SIR publications.

“[D]espite recognition of the benefits of successful mentorship for both the mentees and mentors, few programs offer direct financial support, orientation sessions, resources or dedicated time to foster an environment that supports and nurtures mentorship,” the authors comment in their discussion. “If an environment that supports, champions and rewards formal mentorship is cultivated within IR residency programs, there will be an increase in direct mentorship activities. Successful mentorship programs, if implemented into IR residencies, can provide a stronger foundation for the future of interventional radiology.”

The study arrives while HealthImaging sister outlet Radiology Business Journal is surveying its readers to find radiology’s most admired mentors. To make a nomination, click here.